Nairobi... how would I discribe this city? Capital of Kenya. Dazzling skyscrapers, next to metal sheet slums. Large stone walls, once pristine, now tarnished with grafiti. Tall fences intertwined romanticly with thick ivy, topped with barbbed and razer wire. A huge metal gate, painted a playful teal, in front of every drive way, with an armed guard and dogs right behind it. Hundreds of people walking the street at the same time. 75 people sitting waiting for a 12 seater mtahtu to drive their way. Peddlers selling candy, sugar cane, news papers, hats, bunches of bananas, and roasted corn for mere cents at every traffic jam. Certainly a loud and bustling city. :)
But this week, driving to our outreach, I can't begin to explain how beautiful it was, and is here! The sweet smell of honeysuckle and fresh grass, with the occasional waft of kitchen fire smoke, blew in through our open bus windows as we wound through vallys and hills covered in big tropical trees with bunches of bright yellow, neon orange, and brilliant purple flowers draping from them. Everything is green and lush... and quite muddy. We ended up having to buy rain boots just to be able to walk through the ankle-deep mud. Hahahaha!
We are at Kids Alive; a really cool organization that is in multiple countries throughout the world. They save children from abusive homes, orphans, and abandoned kids and raise them in a loving and safe environment, wether they are HIV positive or not, or special needs or not. This K.A. base has about 80 children from the ages of 3-24. 45 of them are in the 3-9 range, which is where I've been placed to work this outreach. I have to say, considering the large amount of children, I'm very pleasantly surprised at how well they are taken care of. A few people had told me to prepare myself for horrid conditions in 3rd World orphanages, but quite honestly, these kids almost have better living conditions than my own team at our home base! They are well fed, have acres and acres to run and play, their own school, running water and electricity, and are even split into "homes" (about 20 kids in each house) with "house mothers" so as to have a more "normal" lifestyle. Each of them is so sweet, and I know I'm going to be absolutely miserable when it comes time for us to leave. (Many of us have already started to ask our team leader about the Kenyan adoption process, and we've only been here a few days. lol.) But we all know that we have to return to our training after this week.